Elston Gunn's WEEKLY SCRIPT REPORT (Major Sales, Events, and other News!)
February 23rd, 2001
- Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis' Dark Castle Entertainment has purchased CHIMERA, a spec script by Mark Hanlon about boat salvagers who discover a lost 1953 passenger ship in a remote region of the Bering Sea. They claim the ship and attempt to tow it to land, but strange things start to happen aboard the boat.
- John Stockwell (upcoming ROCK STAR and DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS) will adapt the Harry Potter-esque book ARTEMIS FOWL by Eoin Colfer for Miramax.
- Rob Schneider and Tom Brady are in final talks to write a sequel to ANIMAL, the upcoming comedy flick from Revolution Studios. Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo will exec produce. ANIMAL will be released June 8.
- Pulitzer-prize winning writer Robert Schenkkan has been working on several projects: an adaptation of the Graham Greene novel THE QUIET AMERICAN will starts shooting soon, starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser for director Philip Noyce; the actioner KNIFE ON THE HILT, about a confederate guerilla warrior named William Clark Quantrill (who is featured in Schenkkan's THE KENTUCKY CYCLE); Universal's biopic IRON MAN, with Nicolas Cage attached to play Olympian Lou Zamperini who confronted a Japanese POW camp guard after he was shot down during WWII; a THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI rewrite about the desert raid against pirates which spawned the Marine Corps.; THE LIAR'S CLUB, an adaptation of Mary Carr's autobiography as well as an adaptationof Thomas Dyja's book PLAY FOR A KINGDOM about Civil War troops taking a break to play baseball; and an adaptation of Schenkkan's play HEAVEN ON EARTH about a slacker and his grandmother, which has Jim Carrey's interest.
- Ben Stiller is producing and may star in GO TO HELL, MIKE PIAZZA, a comedy written by Ryan Oxford and David Rotman, for Universal Pictures. It's about a hot dog vendor who was childhood friends with Met catcher Mike Piazza, but he blames the ball player for all that's gone wrong in his life. The vendor becomes obsessed with revenge and then gets a chance to strike out the catcher in an All Star Game by winning a TV quiz show. A director has not yet been hired, but Jon Turteltaub, Jay Roach, Tom Shadyac and Todd Phillips are some names said to be of interest to the studio.
- Hart Sharp Entertainment picked up Charles Randolph Wright's THE WOMEN'S MAINTENANCE CLUB for Jeffery Sharp, John Hart and Robert Kessel to produce. It's based on a true story about four women in Queens NY who become friends at a local community college maintenance class. After being shafted by contractors and husbands, they form a group to fix each other's homes and, ultimately, their lives.
My pick of the week is GO TO HELL, MIKE PIAZZA, hands down. Sounds very fresh and fun -- not to mention a perfect match for Stiller. Hope it's really really funny.
-- Elston Gunn
(Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety)